Adopting a healthier diet also means using the healthiest food ingredients available. By replacing certain ingredients from your day-to-day meals with healthier alternatives, you could enjoy reduced amounts of fat sugar and calories.
Food ingredients weren’t created equal. There are all types of milk, butter, and flour, but there are certainly better and healthier versions of them. Replacing certain ingredients in your dishes with healthy substitutes can help you cut down on unhealthy fats and obscene amounts of sugar, salt, and sodium. While it may take time before you get used to the taste and texture of these healthier replacements, your body will be grateful for making the switch.
Whole Wheat for White Bread, Flour, and Pasta
Whole wheat is packed with generous amount of fiber but carries a significantly lesser amount of calories than its white counterparts. The white variety typically goes through a process wherein the “grain” or outer shells are stripped away from the grain, resulting in a white product, which we now know as white bread, white flour, and white pasta. However, that “grain” contains a lot of fiber that our body needs for proper digestion. Also, whole wheat gives your dishes a whole new dimension when it comes to taste and texture. Whole wheat also makes you feel fuller longer; therefore, helping you curb the desire for unnecessary snacking.
Two Eggs Whites for a Whole Egg
If your morning calls for a breakfast frittata or an egg muffin, substitute one whole egg with two eggs whites instead. Cutting the yolk from the equation also reduces the usual amount of cholesterol your body gets from the whole egg. However, if you’re making more frittatas and omelets in your non-stick cookware than usual, consider using just one or two whole eggs (the egg yolk also contains Vitamins A, D, and E despite the amount of cholesterol) and use egg whites for the rest
Quinoa for the Usual Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a usual breakfast for many people, but quinoa proves to be a healthier alternative. Preparing quinoa for breakfast is also just as fast and breezy – simply cook with almond milk and season with cinnamon, and you have bowl-full of protein-rich breakfast.
Mashed Banana, Pureed Apple, and Avocado for Butter
Butter is a staple ingredient in baking, but there’s a healthier version. Instead of butter, you can use mashed banana, applesauce or pureed avocado in most of your baking recipes. Unsweetened applesauce will work wonders for your muffins and sweet bread but without the fats that butter has. You can also use pureed avocado as it has similar consistency with butter, but avocados are enriched with healthy fats that are good for the heart. Or, you could use mashed banana instead of butter, and take advantage of the potassium and fiber it has to offer.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Plain Olive Oil
You must raise the bar higher whenever you can, so opting for extra virgin olive oil can provide you more health benefits than a plain olive oil can. Whether you’re sautéing or stir-frying your dishes, putting in a tablespoon or two can provide a good amount of heart-healthy fats. Also, extra virgin olive oil will always be a better choice over butter. Also, it’s good to use extra virgin olive oil with balsamic vinegar and lemon juice as salad dressing, instead of the traditional mayo-based dressing.
Ground Turkey for Ground Beef
Ground turkey doesn’t have the extra calories and saturated fat that ground beef has, so it’s healthier for the heart, and better for your weight. You can use ground turkey in place for everything that you use ground beef for – from burger patties, sauces to chili. Just make sure though that your ground turkey does not involve the turkey’s skin. Also, using more stock as ground turkey tends to dry up faster.
Kale Chips and Sweet Potato Fries for Potato Chips and French Fries
It might surprise you that you can actually eat kale as chips, but kale being laden with fiber, protein, and folate automatically makes it an obviously better choice over the greasy and salty potato chips. To make kale chips, simply toss kale leaves in extra virgin olive oil, and season with salt and pepper before baking. Meanwhile, you can substitute your usual French fries with sweet potato fries. Sweet potatoes have a lesser amount of 20 grams fewer carbohydrates than white potatoes and contain a good amount of Vitamin A, B6, and fiber.
Fresh Fruit for Canned Fruit
Whether you’re snacking on fruit or using fruits in your smoothies and recipes, it is always better to choose fresh over canned ones. Canned fruits tend to have more sugar and preservatives which do no good to your body. Fresh fruit on the other hand only contains its natural sugar, and still has all the vitamins, fiber, and other essential nutrients intact.
Lemon Water for Soda
If you have the sudden urge to consume soda, you can still satisfy your sweet tooth craving while getting away with all those sugar and calories by drinking lemon water. Simply put sliced lemon into a pitcher or glass of water, and chill. You could also add other fruits to enhance the sweetness and flavors, such as sliced strawberries, grapefruit or orange.
Dark Leafy Vegetables for Watery Greens
Although iceberg and romaine lettuce are healthy in their own right, they simply don’t contain as many nutrients as dark leafy greens have, like kale, spinach, and watercress. You can use these greens in place of lettuce in your salads, and stir-fry as well as in tacos and quesadillas.
Making the healthier switch can be beneficial to your body, but don’t expect that your taste bud will accept them readily all the time. Instead of switching to these food ingredients drastically, consider substituting half of the measurement first, and increasing the amount little by little as you become more accustomed to the taste and texture.
Hi there, I’m Katherine – Curious, passionate, a little dippy perfectionist is some adjectives that could define my passion. I decided to get into a culinary blog to meet, share ideas, and my good plans for not only making food but also for traveling. All of my dishes are cooked with 100% passion and love for food and cooking with famous recipes and also my own creative ones.